Manage User Roles and Permissions with User Role Editor Plugin

When I changed the analytics plugin recently for my clients’ sites, with that change came a loss of a daily email message.

An automatic message to my clients with highlights of the previous day’s analytics.

The message was helpful to clients who wanted info about their site, but didn’t want to delve deep into site analytics.

I wanted to continue to provide access to analytics info to clients, but the more privacy-friendly plugin (Koko Analytics) didn’t offer any kind of email messaging.

But did offer a dashboard widget to quickly show site visits for the past month.

Which would work well for my client.

Except the dashboard widget was only viewable by users with Administrator capabilities for the website.

Capabilities are the ability to perform certain tasks on a website, for example, publishing posts, activating plugins, and deleting posts.

Dependent on your user role, you have certain capabilities on a WordPress site.

The Administrator role has the most capabilities on a single site installation of WordPress.

Most of my clients have content editors with Editor capabilities.

Which have fewer capabilities.

Wouldn’t it be nice for Editor users to be able to view site analytics?

Without granting them full Administrative access to the site?

Read on to learn how I provided the content editors with access to analytics on the dashboard.

User Role Editor

User Role Editor plugin page on the WordPress repository, highlighting key features, version, active installations.

A free plugin, User Role Editor is a popular plugin for allowing you to change user roles and capabilities.

The User Role Edtior plugin offers:

  • Role selection to change capabilities
  • Capabilities grouped by category (Themes, Posts, Pages, Plugins, Users, etc.) , Custom Post Types, and Custom capabilities as well as a listing of all
  • Checkboxes to turn on or off, dependent on the selected role
  • Ability to add role or rename role
  • Multi-site support
  • Translated into 23 languages

User Role Editor has been installed on 700,000 sites (as of July 19, 2021), has a 4.6 star rating in the WordPress plugin repository, and is translatable ready.

Why I Like It

Once I installed and activated the User Role Editor plugin, I was able to update the Editor role with additional capabilities to view analytics.

With the list of user roles and checkboxes, it was quick for me to select the role and capabilities to update.

One of the features that stood out for me: the option to display capabilities in human readable form, not code.

I was glad to read the plugin is updated regularly and developers are quick to respond to comments and issues.

How the Plugin Works

Once you’ve installed User Role Plugin, you’ll find a new User Role Editor option added to the Users section of the left sidebar navigation of the Dashboard.

Once you select User Role Editor, the settings page will display where you can select the role and capabilities to change.

Settings windows for User Role Editor plugin, with selection box for roles and checkbox list of capabilities.

The settings page includes a quick filter to find capabilities as well the option to display capabilities in one to three columns.

Once you’ve turned on/off capability checkboxes, select Update to make your changes.

Or if you’re adding or renaming a role, select the corresponding Add Role or Rename Role button.


When you need to customize capabilities for a user role, or perhaps create a new user role, User Role Editor is the plugin I recommend.

I found it to be quick to understand and use. It’s constantly updated, offers multi-site support, multiple languages, and support requests are answered quickly.

Have you used the User Role Editor plugin? If yes, share your experience and tell me what you like best about the plugin in the comments.

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About the Author

Deborah Edwards-Onoro helps small businesses, consultants, nonprofits, and higher ed with creative and distinctive websites. Deborah shares her expertise with web design, user experience, and accessibility on her blog, social media, and at meetup events. As organizer of Refresh Detroit, West Metro Detroit WordPress, and Metro Detroit WordPress, she encourages members to share their knowledge and experiences. In her free time, you'll find her birding, shooting photos, reading, or watching tennis.

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